By: Asem Mustafa Awan
The government announcement of lockdown till August 5, has resulted in a panic wave and impulsive buying behavior has resulted in a total disregard of Standard Operating Procedures harped by the government to contain the Coronavirus.
The nine day lockdown as announced has made both traders and buyers cursing their hearts out to the government. Police as always is on a money minting spree and is seen doing selective punishment in meting out the fine.
The fine collection from the traders goes where? This has not been announced and how much of it has been collected. Prime Minister Corona Relief Fund is at present at what stage.
The word on the street is that people die of Corona in hospitals only and not in their homes. A number of stories have gone viral in media and in social media where the wrong diagnosis added with money taken for the dead body for burial all these have created a mistrust and people are retaliating.
The current news that are aired by different channels have traders coming out on road raising slogans against government and police in particular that has been given the task to shut down the market.
The poor who are hit hard in the ongoing pandemic are also not happy as there is bleak scenario besides there is nothing much to live on.
The fudge figures that were in the Benazir Income Support Programmes which Dr Sania Nishter stated in a Press conference some time back where she pointed out at officials particularly government servants who have their spouses and children taking the money for poor as their ‘pocket money’. There has been no follow up from Dr Sania as the corrupt officials who were taking money from the BISP give back the amount taken or not.
Ehsaas Programme from Prime Minister Imran Khan has the updated lists or not, have the corrupt officials from BISP removed or not all these questions need answers and sadly the feelers as in bushfires are there but there are no efforts done to curtail the fire.
The people also asks since when did the government start caring for the poor, it has yet to give clean drinking water besides education, the two very basic of needs which are now way out reach from the poor. The only thing the poor have been blessed with is health and they don’t have the elite ailments like cancer.
Meanwhile, the business community of Islamabad also rejected the smart lockdown in the capital and closure of markets in Punjab and announced to resist it. All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran and Traders Action Committee Islamabad President Ajmal Baloch along with the Punjab president of the traders’ body Malik Shahid Ghafoor Paracha reacted sharply to the lockdown announcement.
Till filing of this report amid sweat and sweltering heat police and traders have locked horns and in Raja Bazar the centenary old business hub Rangers are patrolling to control the situation.
“Death sees no rich and no poor and it is for sure and it can come to anyone at anytime. Let us die in peace on our own terms with Corona or cancer don’t kill us with hunger,” said a trader adding, “It is the rich who fear death and since they have money they can stay and live their lives in the comfort of their homes for the ill-gotten wealth they have accumulated in robbing the motherland but we as poor and pauper Pakistanis need to come out on the road to do work and have an honest days wages to feed our families.”